DR MIRIAM STOPPARD'S HEALTH FOCUS: MASTURBATION: In Pursuit of Pleasure; MOST Men and Women Come to Know about Their Own Sexuality through Masturbation, Which Usually Starts around the Age of 10 or 11. It Remains Important throughout Life, Not Only When You're Alone, but for a Couple to Enhance Their Mutual Sexual Pleasure, as Dr Miriam Explains
Byline: Miriam Stoppard
RAGING male and female hormones at the onset of adolescence spark off masturbation for sexual pleasure.
This usually starts just before teenage years, but for some it can be the late teens or even early 20s.
For most people, auto-erotic experience is highly private, and religious upbringing may even forbid it, so masturbation in adulthood is one of the most difficult of all topics for couples to discuss.
Many people think of masturbation as unnatural, even disgusting, and are shocked that people might continue to do it even though they have sexual partners.
However the majority of men, though they may keep their feelings to themselves, do not follow this line.
For most people, once it's admitted, masturbation in front of, or with, a partner, and particularly if it's mutual, can be an extremely enjoyable and exciting way of making love, especially if it comes at the end of an extended period of foreplay.
Differences in attitudes can be ironed out only if you are candid with your partner and voice your feelings about masturbation.
You may get a shock - you may find that you're both mutually attracted to the idea.
HOW IS IT FOR HIM - AND FOR HER?
MEN masturbate from once a month to two or three time a day.
Many men are concerned about the supposed mental effects of excessive masturbation.
A man who masturbates once a month sees once or twice a week as excessive. A man who masturbates two or three times a day thinks five or six times a day is excessive, and might be unhealthy for mind and body.
But no man seems to fear his particular masturbatory pattern is excessive, regardless of frequency.
There's no medically-accepted standard defining excessive masturbation, and there's no medical evidence that masturbation, regardless of frequency, leads to any form of mental illness.
In fact, the case may be that men masturbate too little - both in time spent and in number of occasions.
More pleasure, more sensuality, and more control can be positive results of masturbatory activity.
FOR most women, masturbation is the introduction to sex. Few women have a clear idea of their own sexual anatomy, and so wouldn't know where they like being stimulated unless they'd masturbated.
Masturbation helps a girl to know how she functions sexually, and it helps her to form preferences. It almost certainly gives her the first orgasm.
Women often can find it harder achieving orgasm than men, and the ability to discover what feels good and exciting, what arouses them, and what makes them less inhibited, less fearful, and more willing to let go, is most often discovered through masturbation. …